Alabama Odyssey 2019: Day 3

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Sorry for the delay-Internet has been a little sporadic ….but now in full color!

Breakfast at Hargis
Meet with LaQuita Middleton Holmes
and Children’s March participants Janice Kelsey at the Bethel Baptist Church
Confederate Memorial Park
On to Selma
Dinner with our hosts – Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation
at Healing Waters Retreat Center.
Retire to 1412 Water Avenue

Even though we spent much of today in the car, it felt extraordinarily full with extraordinary people and places. The morning at Bethel Baptist Church was impossible to describe. LaQuita’s power and emotion overwhelmed me. I was moved to tears by her poem about lynching and am very grateful that she drove all the way from Texas to be with us.

You could hear her voice before she even appeared. It was a voice saying words that together made something so much more than any reading ever could. She started singing of Emmett Till and lynching. Starting with a poem with so much emotion you need to almost turn away. Within three minutes, she had cried, laughed, yelled, and whispered.

Janice Kelsey came in and talked to us. She had taken part in the Children’s March and shared her experiences with us. She was also funny as heck. I thought it was interesting how she told us that she was just a normal teenager during the movement but had joined and made a huge difference. I wonder how that can happen with climate change and if the youth can really stand up. Will it be the cool thing to do?

The Confederate Memorial Park was helpful in knowing more about the confederacy and completing the story. It was not too pushy except for the gift shop. Seeing an African American fighting involuntarily with the confederacy was very maddening. He did not look at all happy and he was standing right behind his master.

LaQuita Middleton-Holmes made a very strong impression with her powerful spoken word and sung poems. She travelled 16 hours from Texas to share with us.